Risk identification & strategic control implementation a multidisciplinary approach

Presenter(s): Christopher Williams

AIOH Conference 2021 Presentation: Risk identification & strategic control implementation a multidisciplinary approach and the role of the occupational hygiene professional.

Winner of the 2021 3M Best Paper Award.

The identification of exposure risk is core to the Occupational Hygiene discipline. In fact, in many states and territories within Australia, the requirement to quantify and control worker exposure to as low as reasonably can be achieved (ALARA) is governed by legislative requirements.

Despite this, in many instances, industry processes that result in the release of hazardous substances are entrenched and carried out in ageing facilities in which effective engineering controls are either:

• absent, as they were not considered at the time of construction;
• degraded, due to inadequate maintenance strategies; or
• not fit for purpose, due to historical changes to operating conditions, with insufficient consideration of the impact on the efficacy of existing controls.

In these circumstances, control implementation becomes more complex and costly, with high level engineering controls often requiring significant capital expenditure, high level stakeholder engagement and, in some cases, expertise beyond that of the modern Occupational Hygiene professional. In these instances, a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to ensure a strategic and holistic approach to the identification and implementation of effective and sustainable controls.

The challenges associated with exposure control are all too real for many industries and an opportunity exists for businesses to change the way they utilise different disciplines and expertise to address these. This presentation explores the benefits and challenges of a multidisciplinary approach to exposure control with a focus on the role of the Occupational Hygiene professional and other subject matter experts in risk identification, stakeholder engagement and the delivery of effective, targeted, and sustainable controls, with the key aim of reducing risk to worker health.

Posted on 20/04/2022

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